1. In the livers of six sheep given a high-protein diet, the concentrations of certain urea-cycle enzymes [ornithine transcarbamoylase, arginine synthetase (combined activity of argininosuccinate synthetase and argininosuccinase) and arginase] were significantly greater than when the sheep were given a low-protein diet. Alkaline phosphatase activity/mg. of liver protein was not significantly affected by diet. 2. Three sheep previously given the high-protein diet showed no significant rise in the concentration of ammonia in the blood after the administration of urea (0·5g./kg. body wt.). The concentration of ammonia in the blood of the three sheep given the low-protein diet rose exponentially with time after dosing with urea and all sheep died. 3. It is suggested that tolerance to ammonia toxicity in the sheep is at least partly a function of the activity of the urea-cycle enzymes in the liver.
- © 1969 The Biochemical Society